Data input, collation, scheduling, delegation, escalation….these and other responsibilities are now under the control of my new AI Project Manager. It’s the year 2025, and Artificial Intelligence helps run most of my programme. My human Project Managers don’t get down ‘in the weeds’ anymore, because the landscape of Project Management has changed utterly.
If projects were run by Artificial Intelligence, would that be our future utopian dream or apocalyptic nightmare? I say it’s the dream, because AI can help deliver people-centered Project Management in the following four ways.
Today our PMs are tasked with bottom-up creation of plans and systems to operate projects. With the AI project manager in place to do that, our Project Manager becomes a Master of Methodologies no longer fixed to one approach like Prince2 or Agile, but tailoring ‘best of breed’ approaches to the needs of the project and its people.
Project Managers are being drowned in more and more data every day causing information overload. By handing over data input, collation and analysis to the AI Project Manager, our human Project Manager gains the space and oversight to use their very human talents to identify and mitigate risks quickly.
Project Managers and their teams are often bounded and defined by fixed structures and hierarchy. With the support of AI, our Project Teams of the future will be far more fluid. They will engage virtually more often, and people will join the project from different directions for engagements that could last only hours or days, rather than on a fixed weekly schedule. This would support a nimble dynamic and people responsive project environment.
Project Managers are increasingly aware of the primacy of people in the project change journey, but are bogged down in the technical side of managing projects. With AI on board, our PMs become true PLs – Project Leaders focussed on the psychology of change, using approaches like Proscis ADKAR and Kotter’s 8 step model to lead people along the change journey.
In the future with Artificial Intelligence working as a sort of ‘auto pilot’ for projects, our human Project Managers can focus on outcome over output. It would free Project Managers to use their very human skills and talents to manage project complexities and unknowns, guiding and influencing transformative change for truly people-centred project management. I say the future can’t come fast enough.
Author: Peter Ryan, Managing Director, Aspira Europe IT Consulting & Project Management Services
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